Elizabeth Riley: Ribbons Become Space

SL Gallery is pleased to present Elizabeth Riley: Ribbons Become Space, an exhibition of installation and structural wall works that explore our “mixed reality,” living between physical and digital/virtual contexts while addressing questions concerning the complex world we inhabit.
The centerpiece of the exhibition, The Dragons of Iceland Installation, is based on a video Elizabeth Riley made while at the SIM Residency in Reykjavík, Iceland in 2011. The video depicts a journey of her struggle to overcome feelings of constraint and oppression as a female growing up in the 1950s and 60s. The Dragons of Iceland Installation includes six live video elements, three upended tables, and 14 “ribbon-like” strips, hanging from an 8 ft plank, composed of video stills from the original Dragons of Iceland video. Riley’s work centers in the transformation of video from a moving image form into a material form, which she then makes into sculpture and installation. The installation is a play between the physical video stills and space — creating sculpture, but also carving out or giving definition to space.
Ribbons Become Space also includes two additional wall works, Structure from Light and Configuring Video. Both of these pieces are constructed from long inkjet-prints of stills printed by the artist and use video as a medium to manifest light and motion in the physicality of paper. Riley looks to the video media shapes and structures she creates, in order to form an embodiment of the present and the future, usually based in personal experiences surrounding social standards and environment. She is asking the viewer: “does the digital present the bells and whistles of an unchanged and familiar humanity, or does it define us and the future?”
Elizabeth Riley graduated from Barnard College and received an MFA from Hunter College. She recently curated Trill Matrix for The Clemente Center on the Lower East Side in New York City. In December 2017, Riley’s wall sculpture was on display in Excessive Frugality at Odetta Gallery in Brooklyn. In April 2017, the site-specific participatory installation, City Remix, appeared in the exhibition, Reconstruct, at LIU in Brooklyn, and in June 2017 the 20 x 20 ft installation, Paper Dragons, which functions as a walk-in, physical video installation, appeared in Bigger, Bolder, Better at 470 Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn, supported by Chashama. The artist has participated in numerous artist residencies, including the Soaring Gardens Artists Retreat in 2018, the Heliker-LaHotan Residency in 2017, the I-Park Residency in 2013 and 2015 and was awarded a BRIC Media Arts Fellowship in 2014.
This marks Elizabeth Riley’s first solo exhibition with SL Gallery. Ribbons Become Space, at 335 West 38th Street, remains on view through August 9, 2019.



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